Use of the fungal plant pathogen Myrothecium roridum has proven effective in controlling growth of the aggressive water hyacinth whilst not affecting other water plants, animals or humans, researchers said on Monday.
Their research forms part of a collaboration project between the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the National Research Council of Thailand and Kasetsart University.
The application of Myrothecium roridum causes a leaf-blight disease to spread necrotic spots that result in water hyacinth dying within a week, the researchers said as they took reporters to see the pilot project and a demonstration on how to apply the pathogen, in the Khlong Ban Mai area of Thung Si Kan, in Bangkok’s Don Mueang district.
This use of biocontrol is fast, effective, convenient, cheap and yields no negative impacts from the use of strong chemicals, they said.
The BMA has been tackling the issue of aggressive water-hyacinth growth, which leads to the blocking of waterways, minimising the level of oxygen in water – which presents a bigger risk of water pollution – and hampering flood drainage.